While Warner Bros./Legendary’s “Detective Pikachu” will have a solid opening this weekend, it won’t be enough to stop “Avengers: Endgame” from taking No. 1 on the box office charts for a third time. The record-smashing blockbuster continues to steam towards “Avatar” and a $3 billion worldwide total with $16 million grossed on its third Friday and an estimated weekend total of $62 million.
That total would push its domestic gross to $722 million, passing “Black Panther” for the No. 3 spot on the all-time high domestic charts. The film will pass the $760 million domestic total of “Avatar” in the coming week, leaving only the $936 million record set by “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in its path to the top spot. It is likely that the crowded summer slate will prevent “Endgame” from reaching that mark, as “Force Awakens” had a stronger domestic pace at this point with a $90 million third weekend during New Year’s 2016.
While “Detective Pikachu” won’t hit No. 1, it still did relatively well with $20.5 million grossed on Friday from 4,202 screens, including $5.7 million from Thursday previews. Industry estimates currently project a $55 million opening, slightly above the $53.5 million opening earned last month by fellow WB release “Shazam!”
Critics’ reviews were fairly positive with a 64% Rotten Tomatoes score, while an opening night audience comprised mainly of hardcore “Pokemon” fans approved the film with an A- on CinemaScore. Opening night demographics were 59% male, with 49% under the age of 25 and 27% under 18.
Other new releases this weekend include MGM’s “The Hustle” and STX’s “Poms,” two films looking to bring in female audiences on Mother’s Day weekend. “The Hustle” looks like the preferred title, as the Anne Hathaway/Rebel Wilson comedy is estimated to hit the upper end of pre-release projections with a $13.8 million opening from 3,002 screens. However, the film is getting a weak reception with an 18% Rotten Tomatoes score and a B- on CinemaScore.
“Poms,” which is reaching out to older audiences with a cast led by Diane Keaton, is falling below expectations with a $5.4 million opening from 2,750 screens. The film performed better with audiences than “The Hustle” with a B+ CinemaScore, but reviews were weak with a 30% Rotten Tomatoes score.
The final wide release of the weekend is “Tolkien,” the first Fox Searchlight film released under Disney’s ownership. Starring Nicholas Hoult as the famed “Lord of the Rings” author, the film opened on 1,495 screens and is estimated to open to a tepid $2.5 million. Reviews for the biopic have been mixed with a 47% Rotten Tomatoes score.